We all live in a world of virtual meetings, but for many people the new virtual world has stripped them of their super human ability to build rapport “in the room.” Whether the super power was used to get a team to align on a new idea or to close that big deal, you find yourself not able to create the same influence you once could in a face to face setting. Here are three ideas that might help you rethink rapport in a world of virtual meetings.
Schedule “Virtual Commute Time”
Face to face meetings require commute time. It doesn’t matter if you are commuting across town for the appointment, walking down the hall or jumping on an elevator for a meeting on a different floor. Many of us (whether we know it or not) use commute time to dress rehearse what we want to say, prepare for objections and visualize our ideal meeting outcome. But in today’s Zoom world, we bounce from once meeting to another with no “commute time” to mentally prepare for the big meeting and we don’t have the same energy and impact we once enjoyed. Try reducing the number of back to back meetings or reduce meeting time by 7-10 minutes so that you have time to mentally prepare like you did when going to a meeting required a commute. These additional 7-10 minted of mental prep will bring energize your ability to connect and get the results you once enjoyed.
Reveal Your Reality
Once the door closes for a face to face meeting, you don’t have to worry about distractions and unexpected interruptions. Roommates, screaming kids, spotty internet connection or the need for a virtual background to hide your unmade bed. Just take a few minutes at the beginning of the meetings and let your attendees into your world. You’ll be surprised how relieved it will make you feel and how easily everyone can relate. When you do this you eliminate that pesky internal conversation that goes something like “Is my daughter busting through the door in tears to tell me that her brother took something from her going to kill this deal?”
Go Old School…Send Some Snail Mail
Remember walking down the hall and asking “did you see my email?” We’ve lost that in today’s world. Internal email volumes are 100%-300% higher
, so keep that in mind if your “follow up emails” aren’t driving the response you expected. Mailing notes and meeting recap documents to costumers and teammates is a great way to separate from the email noise. A quick piece of physical mail to say “thank you”, give words of encouragement or enforce your points are a great way to connect on a deeper level.
These three strategies are simple to implement and the results could be profound. If you’re struggling to find the impact you once had in face to face meetings, try these and watch your super human ability to connect return.